And now, the news....
Robbie's on the road to recovery
A Story of Two Hearts
I experienced my first symptom of serious heart disease whilst visiting Dublin. Stella and I where guests of honour at the Sunshine Radio 20th year staff reunion held on the evening of Friday September 26th.
The following afternoon, upon climbing 3 flights of stairs carrying a newly-purchased Canon multi-media printer/fax, I got a belt of pain in my chest. I sat down on the Canon box for a short while and the pain quickly subsided. I was out sailing with friends in Dublin bay the following morning, followed by a fine lunch in the club. I was feeling on top of the world.
We returned to sunny Lanzarote the following Tuesday, where I arranged to have the ticker checked out in the local private clinic. Tests confirmed two 90% blockages in my heart's communal truck and a 75% blockage in the left descending artery plus a dodgy aortic valve operating at approximately 30%. As the Cardiologist said "these are drop-dead-instantly problems".
Our heads needed more opinions regarding the most appropriate treatment. I did some research on the internet, checked out various surgeons' and doctors' sites. We took into account valuable advice from friends and the opinion and advice from local medical professionals. Thankfully, this led me to the pioneering work of heart surgeon Doctor Rafael Lorenz in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
On the November 13th, 'The Wizard' cracked me open from the sternum down 30cm south, performed a double bypass graft, using mummery veins from my chest. He replaced the dodgy aorta valve using a stented bio tissue valve system developed by St Jude Medical Heart Valves, St Paul MN USA.
I was in and out hospital in 5 days "Done and dusted" as the Brits would say, in 6 days. A 100% successful procedure with no complications and to be honest far less pain than I had expected. As I was going under the anesthetic, I was paddling down stream, going with the flow. In my minds eye I took my little grandchild Megan to see the cows in a nearby field.
Ten days later, I have been on the sunny Aveneda walking for 3 mornings. I know it will take a little longer before I get my full energy pack, but now we are both look forward to spending Christmas with our G-kids.
My lovely nurse Stella was by my side throughout the whole ordeal and is now providing lots of TLC.
My thanks must also go to DKV my private health insurance provider for dealing with the sordid financial side.
Many thanks for your kind wishes,
Love & greetings Robbie
We asked Robbie's permission to include the above news of his operation and recovery in Happenings and he agreed. "Sharing my experience could turn out be of use to a reader with a similar problem and help with a problem shared, and so on!" he said. "Information regarding 'The Wizard' - Dr Rafael Lorenz and his heart unit at Hospiten Rambla Santa Cruz Tenerife can be found at www.hospiten.com."
Forty Years in Radio
(Photo courtesy of Duncan Johnson )
'Here's Kenny' on Radio 4
It's unfortunate that the publicity for 'Here's Kenny' claimed that the programme celebrated the 40th anniversary of Kenny's first Radio One broadcast. As Peter Young points out, "The actual anniversary was well over a year ago on Wednesday October 4th 1967, when Kenny presented Midday Spin. The Wednesday show continued until just before Christmas ’67 when he was given a Sunday morning show."
The documentary did contain some interesting clips, especially those from when Kenny accompanied the Beatles on their 1966 USA tour. However, it stated that Kenny was broadcasting on 'another pirate station' when Radio London closed down (he was working for the Beeb!), claimed Dave Cash was American (try Canadian) and included a clip that was claimed to be from Radio London, December 1965 when it was in fact from Radio One, December 1967.
Below are some familiar faces who took part in the programme. (l to r) Chris Dannatt, Chris Baird, Jon Myer and Keith Skues. With so many knowledgeable people involved, surely they should have got it right! (thanks to Mike Terry)
Dutch Radio Day – 2009 date already set!
|Rosko Adds Hall of Fame to his Empire
At the 2008 PRS Radio Academy Hall of Fame lunch to be held at the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London on December 8th, new offshore inductee will be Emperor Rosko. His bio in the official press release describes him as:
"The American DJ who made 'your back crack' and your 'liver quiver' introduced British audiences to US Top 40 DJ patter on the pirate ship Radio Caroline and then as one of the founding voices of BBC Radio 1. He became known as El Presidente in Spain and South America, Le President in France and Kaiser Rosko in Germany and is still in demand all over the world with weekly programmes from his LA studio."
Rosko will be in perfect pirate company. Former renegades Tony Blackburn, Kenny Everett, Stuart Henry, Adrian Love, John Peel, Caroline boss Ronan O'Rahilly, Tommy Vance, Johnnie Walker and TW have taken their places already in the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.
The Emperor's entry evens up the numbers of inductees from Caroline and Big L. Kenny Everett, John Peel, and TW are HoF anchors for Radio London; Ronan O'Rahilly, Rosko and Johnnie Walker keep Caroline afloat, while Tony Blackburn and Tommy Vance swashbuckled on both stations. Adrian Love holds the HoF fort for Radio City, while Stuart Henry flies the 242 tartan for Radio Scotland.
Wrapped up in the flag: Rosko sports the Jolly Roger at the 2007 Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio
John 'Mitch' Mitchell
Aside from Mitch's three Fab Forty entries with the Experience - 'Hey Joe', 'Purple Haze' and 'The Wind Cries Mary', it's impossible to tell how many times his talents may have enhanced the Radio London chart. Born in Ealing, he was both a Joe Meek session drummer, and a member of the Riot Squad - but apparently prior to their recording their FF entries. Mitch was also with Georgie Fame's Blue Flames, but does not appear to have recorded with the band, and reportedly, he played on the Wishful Thinking single 'Count To Ten' (FF 16/04/67).
The Experience Hendrix tour's chief executive, Jimi Hendrix's stepsister Janie, described Mitch as, "a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend".
Luxy Reunion on Youtube
Left: Rosko again. Talking to David 'Kid' Jensen.
'The Olivetti Chronicles' is a compilation of some of the many columns penned by Peelie for a variety of publications over a thirty-year period. (We have several of those that appeared in International Times on the site. Read them here.) Compiled by John’s wife, Sheila, and his four children, the book's title came about because these masterpieces of wry observation were always typed on a faithful Olivetti typewriter.
In his book 'The Radio Times Story', a tome that was itself enhanced by a John Peel foreward, Tony Currie reveals that Peelie joined the BBC publication in the autumn of 1993. John was a wonderful writer and when Radio Times arrived at the Payne household, his 'Family Album' column with its Kipper Williams cartoon, was always the priority read. One reviewer of John's Radio 4 Home Truths programme wrote in 2001, "I assume Mr Peel was offered this show as a direct result of his very funny columns that have appeared over the years in the Radio Times, in which he discusses his family, their viewing habits and, well everything really."
As the book jacket says: "This extraordinary, inimitable and endlessly entertaining book is essential reading for Peel fans and a reminder of just why he remains a truly great Briton."
John Peters' show '60s2XS' runs at midnight and noon, both Saturdays and Sundays. It features 'Sixties music (from the radio2XS 'rock & roll' edge) with bits of radio nostalgia and trivia.'
Chris Baird's '2XS Overdrive' fills the 1400 to 1800 Sunday slot with classic rock, psychedelia, prog and blues-rock. 'He was there'!
"Tuning in was never easier," says Jeff. "Listening to radio2XS on a PC (or Mac), you no longer need to bother with Real Player, Windows Media, Winamp or any other player. As long as Flash is installed (97% of all computers use it), then we'll play in HiFi stereo. Use the LISTEN links on our website."
Radio 2XS website
"This is the first all-new Legend CD for 36 years. Musicians featured on the album include Mickey Jupp, Mo Witham, Bobby Clouter and John Bobin (all in Legend many moons ago) with some additional help from Alan Beecham (who played with Mo, John and Bobby in The Fingers over 40 years ago).
Chris East (who played in the acoustic line up of Legend in the late sixties) has masterminded this project and Barry Vernon was the producer."
A new U.S. report says nearly two in three Americans listen to music on a daily or almost-daily basis, with 42% of adults ranking radio as their top source for music, compared to 25% for CDs and 14% for MP3 players.
This is according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports.
The survey also found that 69% rarely or never download music, while 18% report that they do so sometimes; further, 71% of those who do download tunes, say they do so legally.
Ian comments: "If those U.S. figures apply equally in this country I’d have to put a question mark over them. They don’t seem to equate with the reality of observation."
That would also seem to apply to the UK.
Every issue of The Radio Wave, from the first one in April 2002, is archived at Ian's website All About Radio
Levi, though wheelchair-bound, memorably participated in the Detroit Opera House 50th anniversary celebration for the group in 2004. He managed to sing a few lines both with the Tops and with Aretha Franklin, who performed his song 'I Believe in You and Me'.
Not only a massively-successful vocal group, the Tops were also close friends who had known each other since attending High School together in Detroit. Originally the Four Sims, they had performed together since 1954.
Sadly, Abdul 'Duke' Fakir is now the Tops' only surviving member. "Levi was the voice, Obie was the spirit, Lawrence was the harmony, somebody said I was the sound because of my tenor, the way it would carry some things." He told the Detroit News.
The Four Tops were already resident at #13 in our first Fab Forty, dated 24/01/65, with Baby I Need Your Loving a song that had very likely been played by Big L from day one. Levi's amazing lead vocals ensured that the group spent a total of 55 weeks on the Radio London playlist, their final FF appearance being 25/06/67, with Seven Rooms of Gloom.
The Tops enjoyed six Fab Forty Top Ten and two Top Twenty hits. Their two highest placings were Standing in the Shadows of Love and Reach Out I'll Be There, both hitting #2. Standing in the Shadows had been chosen as Disc of the Week for 18/12/66. Bernadette reached #3 (March 67), I Can't Help Myself peaked at #5 (Aug 65), It's the Same Old Song (Sept 65) and Seven Rooms of Gloom (Jun 67) both reached #7.
Something About You hit #17 (Dec 65), as did Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever (July 66), while Shake Me Wake Me (When It's Over) made #26 20/03/66.
Amazingly, I Can't Help Myself, It's the Same Old Song, Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever and Seven Rooms of Gloom all failed to touch the National Top Twenty.
Fans who wish to do so may leave personal tributes at Levi's memorial site.
"Yes, it's all written down in his diary" – Benny Hill
Paul (who performs under the name of Paul David) has already shared with us the Cortinas' experience of appearing at the Wimbledon Palais in the Melody Maker 'Beat Time' contest. His diary makes fascinating reading.
To remember Don's amazing voice, visit his website.
Peter Young – back in colour!
PY will be kept busy at weekends, filling Jazz FM's 1500 to 1800 slot on Saturdays, with the Soul Cellar during the final hour. His Solar Radio Soulful Sunday will continue between 1400 and 1600 on Sky Digital 0129 and on line at www.solarradio.com.
(Right) PY in colour!
House of Manannan exhibition does Caroline North proud
Manx National Heritage (MNH) opened its 'Pirates of the Irish Sea' exhibition at the House of Manannan in Peel on August 1st. Curator Matthew Richardson and Creative Consultant Andy Wint received a huge response to their appeal for memorabilia of the station and its DJs and are to be congratulated on an entertaining professional display that truly captures the essence of Caroline North's uniqueness and its place in Manx life and politics. Because 'Pirates of the Irish Sea' covers an aspect of northern history that has previously not been featured as an independent comprehensive exhibit, it is attracting much attention from other museums and may be shown on the mainland after it closes at the House of Manannan at the end of April 2009. The exhibition is also receiving good media coverage, and has featured on the BBC and Border TV.